Great Middle Grade Reads discussion

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GENERAL DISCUSSIONS > Who is the new "Judy Blume"?

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message 1: by Amy (last edited Oct 04, 2017 05:00PM) (new)

Amy | 5 comments Okay, I know Judy Blume is still around. What I mean is, who would you consider the most-read contemporary middle-grade author? Are there books ALL girls read? I'm not talking fantasy, magical realism, historical, or so-quirky-as-to-be-practically-fantasy. I'm talking realism -- girls dealing with issues real girls deal with. No, When You Reach Me does not count.

I grew up in the 70s, and I can tell you we ALL read Judy Blume. Even girls who barely read anything else. Who is closest to that today?


message 2: by Carmel (new)

Carmel | 72 comments I recommend Nova Weetman. She hasn't written many titles for this audience yet, but "The secrets we keep" was spot-on. #2 in the series is due out soon.


message 3: by Jennifer (last edited Oct 06, 2017 09:09AM) (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 5 comments I work in a library. I would say the most read middle grade author with more of a real life type fiction would be Dork Diaries by Rachel Russell. The series has spent 220 weeks on the best seller list as of September 3rd's list. When the new one releases in less than 2 weeks I'm sure it will pop right back on the list and pick up several more weeks.

I have kids ask for them because their friends have read them and they typically don't care which book in the series they get. They will even reread ones they've already read before. They are around a 4th to 5th grade reading level. Above 5th grade, there really isn't a series that all the girls read, at least, not realistic-ish fiction.


message 4: by Justine (new)

Justine Laismith (justinelaismith) | 311 comments Jacqueline Wilson comes to mind.


message 5: by D.L. (new)

D.L. That's a good question. I have no idea lol


message 6: by Emily (new)

Emily Freeman | 13 comments I really don't think there is an author who every every girl reads anymore. And that's a good thing! It means that children's book publishing has grown a lot and that every kid can find their niche. I do think one who is widely read and loved is Reina Telgemeier. She does realistic fiction in a graphic novel format and I've never met a middle grade girl reader who doesn't read and love everything she writes!


message 7: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1421 comments Mod
I’ve been watching this thread, a little bemused, since I haven’t heard of Judy Blume! Should I seek her out?


message 8: by Carmel (new)

Carmel | 72 comments She is extremely popular in our Middle School Library - they are well written and still very relevant. Why don’t you try one?


message 9: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
Just for the record, I grew up in the 70s, too, and I don't think I ever read any Judy Blume, though I was aware of her. I'm definitely bemused that she apparently didn't make it across the pond, Jemima!

For me and my friends, the author we all read was Marguerite Henry :)

But I agree with Jennifer about Dork Diaries (based on circ at the library--I haven't ready any), and also with Emily abouty Reina Telgemeier.


message 10: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 332 comments Judy Blume is definitely more a USA and Canada phenomenon! But then again, I would say that Astrid Lindgren is much more a European phenomenon and aside from Pippi Longstocking, most of her other books are not nearly as well known in Canada and the US as they are in the UK and continental Europe.


message 11: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah In my school, no one reads the same books. The only person who reads the same books as me is Anna, my best friend. But I'm a quick reader, so I finished two series' in the time it took her to read one!


message 12: by Amy (new)

Amy | 5 comments I live in the U.S. Talking about the North America / British divide, I never read Jacqueline Wilson until recently (Bad Girls) and I liked it a lot.

Back in the 70s, Judy Blume's books were the first I ever read that had a "middle grade voice," as I have learned since to call it. Blubber was also the first realistic book about bullying I ever came across. Nowadays you have to work to find books that are NOT about bullying, but it was amazing at the time.

The more I try to write books for young people, the more I am impressed with Judy Blume. I can still remember the purple cover of my copy of Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret. I must have read it 10 times. I'll never forget "I must, I must, I must increase my bust." (Shocking! Although I personally did not want to increase my bust). We passed Forever around in secret. I think that was a high school or even college book, but we all read it.

My brother read the one boy book, Then Again, Maybe I Won't. It was the ONLY book he read for pleasure other than The Hobbit. Now it is out of print, probably because of the voyeurism....

I recommend that anyone interested in the "middle grade voice" read Judy Blumes books, although many of them are dated in a variety of ways.


message 13: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1421 comments Mod
Weird. Judy Blume seems to belong in the 70s, but I know the title: "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret."
The mantra "I must, I must, I must increase my bust." (while doing arm swinging exercises) was around long before that... definitely in the 60s and probably long before.


message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy | 5 comments Interesting! I thought Judy Blume made it up.


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